Google has been hinting at the need for a fully responsive site for the past year and has been pushing the page speed for a very long time. For the past several years, DWG has been working on page speeds and warning about the effects not optimizing your images has on your search results.
In June of this year, Google hinted that it will be using mobile page speed as the major key metric in ranking mobile pages in mobile search results. Google’s Gary Illyes said that the use of page speed was in the “planning phase.” We interpret this that Google is also combining the relationship between speed and responsiveness.
At the moment, because of the Google’s algorithm when a site (mobile or desktop) is speed optimized, then the site is not penalized in its ranking. This will soon change, as a mobile-specific page speed will be a significant factor in the ranking algorithm.
Google has also confirmed that it is working on a completely separate mobile search index which is likely to be launched when Google updates its mobile-friendly algorithm. This means that if you do not have a fully responsive site, you are looking at double the amount of work for optimizing your web search ranking.
We expect based on what we are hearing that this may happen in mid-fall. But what’s the moral of this story? It’s never to early to plan as this will have a significant impact.